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Long Range PoE switch Zyxel GS1350-18HP testing

Never in my life have I crimped so much cable as in this test. It would seem that I will always remember the color sequence, repeating it over and over again as a spell: “orange with a strip, orange, green with a strip, blue…”.

Very often, when implementing video surveillance at the facility, the integrator faces the task of placing the camera in a place where there is no power supply, and accordingly, you will not put a repeater there. It can be a camera installation on a tree, on a lamppost, under a dome or in a well. It does not matter where, it is important that you have hundreds of meters of cable to the nearest point in the network, and there is no possibility to put a switch or an extension cord.

Typically, IP surveillance cameras use a 100-megabit or 1-Gigabit twisted-pair connection (category 5 or 5E cable). On the same cable on the camera often has power (PoE), and like it or not, but both technologies (signal transmission and transmission power) is limited by the distance of 100 meters, and now even the forehead knock you yourself will not give you 100 megabits over twisted pair 5th category at a distance of more than 100 meters. The fact is that progress in network equipment is moving towards increasing speeds and reducing energy consumption, and for everything else there is optics. So even if you transmit power at a distance of 200 meters, the signal on the twisted pair will not pass.

And here networkers remembered that at the time when our grandfathers on foot under a table went, there was such standard as 10 Base-T with a speed of only 10 Mbit/s and if to conjure, then on a good cable this network can be thrown further than on 100 meters.

Okay, I have two questions. I do not doubt at all that the power can be transmitted over a copper cable for kilometer distances: this is not surprising: industrial PoE injectors transmit 14 W via cat 5E cable for 700 meters (802.3 at standard) or 450 meters (802.3 af standard). Interest me:

what will we see at 10 Mbps?

actually, a lot. We measured the flow of the chinese 1080p-camera Pinetron PNC-IV2E2 at a rate of 19-25 frames per second, and it was from 5.9 to 7.9 Mbit/s. Cameras with a resolution of 4K give a network flow of about 15 Mbit/s, and if smoothness is not important, reducing the frame rate it can be output under 10 Mbit/s, and in modern cameras like those Hikvision that we use in the test, in general, you can limit the maximum bitrate in the settings, and the codec H. 265+ even at 10-megabit stream Gives excellent quality. Simply put, in most cases, the speed of the channel for the needs of video surveillance will be enough.

By combining long-range PoE with long-range 10-Megabit Ethernet, network equipment manufacturers started talking about long-range connection of IP-cameras. Some call this technology Long Range PoE, others - Extended PoE, but there is no general standardization, and some equipment manufacturers announced the connection of IP-cameras at a distance of 200 meters from the switch, others - 250 meters, but as it is in fact - we will find out in our test. Well, of course a new chip picked up by both camera manufacturers and network switches, but the most important advantage of this technology - it works on conventional IP-cameras, not at all, but on many.

ZyXel GS1350-18HP

For testing we use the latest Gigabit switches ZyXel series GS1350. These models are designed specifically for video surveillance systems, and the manufacturer claims to connect cameras at a distance of up to 250 meters. In general, gs1350 switches are very similar to the recently tested ZyXEL GS1920-8HP. Here you will find support for Nebula cloud management system (will work from 2020), and modern architecture with VLANs, channel aggregation, IGMP proxying and port mirroring.

The switch in question has 16 PoE ports with long Range support and 2 combined RJ45 / SFP ports for connection to the stack or to the security gateway.

To work with IP-cameras, in addition to the Long Range, there is a function of Auto Camera Recovery, which allows you to reboot the camera power in case of a hang and Continuous PoE, continuous power supply to the camera even when you restart the switch (for example, while updating of its firmware). These functions are designed to significantly facilitate the operation of your NVR fleet, but we will not deal with them in this review.

As for the quality of manufacture, as expected brand level ZyXel, it is excellent: built-in power supply uses Japanese Nippon capacitors, cooling fan is responsible Y. S. Tech - switch as if assembled by the old patterns, when not saving on components.

The port on which we want to receive the long-range PoE must be configured through the switch’s Web interface, specifying LR mode. It will switch to 10Mbit/s speed, and now we can go directly to the surveillance cameras.

Surveillance cameras

With cameras the situation is simple: models with support for Long Range / Extended Range I have not met, and somehow in general in the documentation to LR PoE switches said that can be used the most that neither is the usual camera. All right, we’ll take three copies: a pair of expensive Hikvision DS-2CD2346G1-I/SL cameras, DS-2CD2743G0-IZS and the cheapest Pinetron PNC-IV2E2.

Property / camera Hikvision DS-2CD2346G1-I/SL Hikvision DS02CD2743G90-IZS Pinetron PNC-IV2E2
Matrix, MP Four Four Two
Max resolution 2688 x 1520 2688 x 1520 1920 x 1080
Number of IR LEDs Two Two Twenty
Network Ethernet 10/100 Base-T, 802.3 af Ethernet 10/100 Base-T, 802.3 af Ethernet 10/100 Base-T, 802.3 af
Power consumption, W (PoE) 7.5 Twelve Eleven
Audio Internal speaker Audio in/out No
Price, USD n/a 215 58

Please note: modern Hikvision cameras already use only 2 high-power LEDs for illumination, while the old model implements illumination due to 20 conventional diodes. As for power over the network, the cameras have the maximum power consumption, but use the same standard PoE - IEEE 802.3 af. So the testing will be quite honest.

Cables

The documentation for your switches Zyxel GS1350 no word about a special cable for long-range PoE, so for the sake of experimentation we’ll buy a 300 metre long noname 24AWG STP CAT5E cable for outdoor cabling. It is a shielded cable with copper-plated solid cores. Retail price - about $ 30 per drum, and on the box proudly flaunts the name: “NONAME”.

So am I going to use ring connectors to RJ45 category five. Measuring the distance by meter on the cable, I want to know when my IP-cameras will work.

Distance / Camera Hikvision DS-2CD2346G1-I/SL Hikvision DS02CD2743G90-IZS Pinetron PNC-IV2E2
300 meters No power No power No power
250 meters No power No power IR LEDs turns on
240 meters No power No power IR LEDs turns on
219 meters No power No power IR LEDs turns on

The first contact occurred at a distance of 250 meters: the camera Pinetron PNC-IV2E2 lit infrared illumination! In normal mode, this camera consumes about 6-7 watts, so transmitting power that far is great news for the switch. As for the wards Hikvision, they did not react to the cable connection.

Distance / Camera Hikvision DS-2CD2346G1-I/SL Hikvision DS02CD2743G90-IZS Pinetron PNC-IV2E2
200 meters No power No power Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping.
180 meters Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping. Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping. Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping.
170 meters Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping. Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping. Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping.

On 160 metres I ran out of the usual ring RJ45 connector from the store, and I had to go buy the same nameless things. At this distance, all three cameras were turned on, but none pings, and after replacing the chips with new ones - Hikvision cameras began to behave very capriciously: the distance decreases, and now they are not even included. At the same time, Pinetron all the same: the switch shows that network packets go, but the camera does not respond yet.

Distance / Camera Hikvision DS-2CD2346G1-I/SL Hikvision DS02CD2743G90-IZS Pinetron PNC-IV2E2
160 meters No power Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping. Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping.
140 meters Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping. Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping. Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping.
120 meters No power Camera turns on, network packets flow, but with no ping. WORKS !!!
100 meters No power No power WORKS !!!

Pinetron PNC-IV2E2 - our champion, earned at a distance of 120 meters: the web-interface opens, there is a traffic. Switch the cable in the camera Hikvision - and no response - no Hello. I compress again - the same situation, I write down a minus and I continue to cut a cable.

Distance / Camera Hikvision DS-2CD2346G1-I/SL Hikvision DS02CD2743G90-IZS Pinetron PNC-IV2E2
80 meters WORKS !!! WORKS !!! WORKS !!!

At 80 meters surely works both Hikvision and quite naturally, felt fine Pinetron. In general, if you take the switch “on the fool” with the first available cameras and the cheapest copper cable with unnamed connectors - at least 80-meter connection is guaranteed.

Conclusions

Our tests show that the Zyxel GS1350-18HP perfectly transmits power to a distance of 250 meters, and the link entirely depends on what you connect to the switch port. And if the choice of expensive copper cable 23AWG or 22AWG is somehow possible to justify, in the case of cameras more expensive - does not mean better. If possible, of course, look for cameras with support for long-range communication, and better test yourself.

Zyxel GS1350 is an excellent example of a modern smart switch for video surveillance systems. Choosing this series for IP-cameras, today you will get an automatic reboot of hung cameras, continuous power supply and work at distances exceeding 100 meters. Tomorrow Nebula support will be added to this (read about the Zyxel cloud in our review GS1920-8HP), and as a result you will have a single window of configuration and monitoring available from anywhere in the world. This is how a modern network switch for video surveillance systems should look like.